Posts Tagged ‘vanessa’

Vanessa Selbst Announces “Retirement” From Poker

 Vanessa Selbst Announces “Retirement” From Poker

Everyone is looking for a fresh start when it comes to a New Year. For some, it is dropping a bad habit, such as smoking or cutting down on eating to drop some weight. For others, it is doing something different within the career they are pursuing or, in some cases, a change to a career course. On this New Year’s Eve, we can jot longtime Team PokerStars Pro and top flight poker professional Vanessa Selbst in the latter category.

In a lengthy announcement on her Facebook page, Selbst let her followers know that she was “moving on from my career as a professional poker player.” While admitting that poker has “given me so much over the last 12 years…It has been intellectually challenging, exhilarating, fun, and extremely rewarding,” she also admits that there are several reasons that she’s leaving. To that, Selbst states that it is “a number of factors, big and small,” that have brought her to this decision.

“The most obvious reason is that Black Friday has meant that, in order to do this job professionally, you either had to move out of the country or travel 90% of the time,” Selbst explained. “That was really fun for a period of time in my life, but as my late 20s turned into my early 30s and my priorities changed toward building a stable home and community and starting a family, the constant travel is no longer tenable.”

“Secondly, I don’t feel good about promoting poker as an ambassador anymore (I can’t tell amateurs they should come play online and it’s beatable for them when I don’t feel like it’s true),” Selbst wrote. “Lastly, whether because poker got more competitive or because we got older (or likely some combination of the two), poker recently turned into a real job…I had never treated the game that way–I always kept a very light poker schedule–I showed up and played for fun and did other projects back home as my “real work.” The shift in the nature of poker and what it requires put me at a crossroads and asked the question of me whether I would rather change my relationship to the game or move on.”

While Selbst may be giving up the rigors of the tournament poker grind, it isn’t like she’ll be stepping off and teaching law somewhere (Selbst does have a legal degree). “My next career I’m giving a shot is at a hedge fund,” Selbst declares. “I’m doing trading research and strategy. I’ve actually already been there for almost four months now, and the environment feels a lot like poker did back in the day – a bunch of nerdy kids collaborating to try to beat our opponents at a game…It’s exhausting, exciting and completely humbling every single day.”

Selbst is quick to remind folks that her “retirement” doesn’t mean she’ll never step to the felt again. “Whatever happens with my next career, I know that I’ll never truly stop playing poker (just ask Fedor Holz what happens when you retire)!” Selbst concludes. “Seriously though, I will always love the game and the people in it and I’m so thankful for everyone I’ve met and everything I’ve experienced. So with that, so long, and thanks for all the fish!

Selbst retires as one of the greatest female players ever to grace the green baize. Beginning in 2006 when she finished in seventh place in a $ 2000 No Limit Hold’em event at the World Series of Poker, Selbst cashed in 84 tournaments around the world. The highlights of those endeavors was winning a World Series of Poker bracelet in 2008 in a $ 1500 Pot Limit Omaha tournament,  a major title on the now-defunct Partouche Poker Tour for a $ 1.8 million score and a $ 750,000 championship victory on the now-defunct North American Poker Tour at Mohegan Sun. Her most recent cash was in the Ladies’ Championship at the 2017 WSOP, which brought her career earnings to $ 11,851,384. That amount is first among female professionals and ranks her 41st in the all-time tournament earnings regardless of gender.

It is always disappointing to see someone who is quite talented walk away from the game, but one of the charms of poker is you can come back at any point in time. Here’s wishing Selbst the best of luck in the difficult hedge fund management world and that we see here “moonlighting” as a poker player soon!

The post Vanessa Selbst Announces “Retirement” From Poker appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Vanessa Rousso Enters Music Business, Leaving Poker?

 Vanessa Rousso Enters Music Business, Leaving Poker?

Last Sunday saw the New England Patriots come from behind to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in arguably one of the most exciting Super Bowl games in history. It also could have marked the departure of one of poker’s most visible players as she sets off on a potential career in the music industry.

Vanessa Rousso debuted on Sunday during the Super Bowl halftime show her latest endeavor, a dance single called “Kiss Face.” Along with her significant other Melissa Ouellet and under the auspices of an overall group called N1TEL1TE, the song is now available on Apple Music for streaming and through iTunes for those who are looking to purchase the song. The song has made some noise on the dance charts, with Twitter being the main driver of its success.

Rousso has earned her stripes in this domain by being an excellent student. Studying at the Berklee School of Music gave Rousso some technical expertise, but that was only part of the experience. She has been improving on the basics by stepping into clubs and special events, performing in front of throngs of people.

What was the basis of the song? Rousso explained on SoundCloud that “The idea for the “Kiss Face” vocal hook came about when we were out at Coachella and saw a guy (visibly inebriated), blowing kisses and making advances at almost every girl that passed by. There was something tragic about it, watching advance after advance fall flat. Yet there was also an undeniable comedy in the ridiculousness of his approach. As much as he was outrageous, this guy was also a caricature of sorts – a micro version of something nightlife is synonymous with.”

“Kiss Face” is an up-tempo club mix with heavy synthesizers and a pulsing dance beat, something that you would come to expect from the EDM genre. Ouellet and Rousso, however, layer over some audio moves that do separate the song from others you would find in that area of music and help put the musical “hook” into your ear. Be forewarned, however, it is a hardcore dance song, not a lyrical jaunt that is looking to say something deep and profound. It is doing exactly what it is aiming to do – ensure people enjoy themselves, get out on the floor and dance. It could also be something you’d see during a runway show on a Paris catwalk.

Putting together the song has taken up much of the last year of Rousso’s life. With that, there are many questions by Rousso’s poker fandom as to whether she will continue playing the tournament circuit actively. Rousso herself added to this speculation by saying during the release of “Kiss Face,”  “Being a poker player, everything is zero-sum – a win is always somebody else’s loss. On the contrary, making music with Mel means spreading love and making people feel good…and that’s the best feeling in the world,” says Rousso. “That’s my reason for going ‘all in’ on pursuing music full time.”

With the completion of her work in the music business temporarily, Rousso just couldn’t stay away from the green baize, however. “Excited to announce that I will be playing the America’s Poker Tour Main Event at Sarasota Kennel Club One-Eyed Jacks Poker Room in FL!” Rousso excitedly tweeted the day following the release of “Kiss Face.” The burgeoning poker tour will be in Sarasota beginning on March 31, with the $ 1110 Main Event beginning on April 7 and a final table set to play on April 9.

With over $ 3.5 million in tournament poker earnings, it isn’t like Rousso doesn’t have some poker skills. Although it has been a bit slow in the cashing department for Rousso since 2012 (roughly $ 80,000 in earnings), Rousso has had other outlets to keep herself busy. In 2015, Rousso was a houseguest on Big Brother 17, making her mark on the game for the way she manipulated the household around her. Of the 15 evictions during that season of the show, Rousso had her hand in 11 of them and would have won overall (most believe) had her final alliance with the eventual winner of that season of the show, Steve Moses, chosen her to go on to the final vote instead of Liz Nolan. For all her work on the show, allegedly Rousso earned no prize money (Moses took home $ 500,000 for his efforts, Nolan $ 50,000) but did win several special opportunities that included meeting singer Ariana Grande.

So, is Rousso done with poker if the music career takes off? Or is Rousso looking to use the poker world as a fallback should the music career stall? Either way it appears that Rousso will be a success.

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All for Nothing: Vanessa Rousso Ousted In Third on “Big Brother”

 All for Nothing: Vanessa Rousso Ousted In Third on “Big Brother”

A two-part public service warning here:  1) Watching reality television is roughly akin to having a lobotomy without the benefit of anesthesia, so don’t do it, and 2) If you want to waste three months, there’s better ways to do it.

After three months in which she obviously played the best game of anyone in the house – a fact that was acknowledged by her fellow competitors – poker professional Vanessa Rousso’s own success came back to bite her as she was unceremoniously sent out of the competition in third place on the CBS reality show Big Brother.

When we last left the Big Brother compound, Rousso had just split the “bromance” of John and Steve up by sending John to the Jury House, hot on the heels of her being the Head of Household that had busted up the “showmance” of Austin and Liz. “You’ll never win this game without me,” Austin said as he hit the doorway last week, but Rousso’s final two competitors, his “showmance” partner Liz and Steve, didn’t look to be much competition for Rousso. Sure enough, in the first of a three part battle, Rousso locked up one of the slots to determine who would pick the final two players.

Over the last weekend, the second competition was held between Liz and Steve, which called for the two to navigate through an obstacle course and complete a crossword puzzle. Steve was able to do this in a quicker time than Liz, punching his ticket to compete against Vanessa in the third part of the competition to determine who the final two players would be. As soon as Steve was ensconced in that second seat, the intrigue began.

Despite the fact that they both had agreed to a deal to not eliminate the other one, both Rousso and Steve were ready to break that agreement from the moment it was known they were competing against each other. With Rousso’s fingerprints over virtually every part of the Big Brother season – she was Head of Household on many occasions, had been able to work out of tough situations with timely Power of Veto wins, had manipulated other HoH and PoV winners to do her dirty work and was only on the eviction block once before the final five were determined – Steve knew he couldn’t take Rousso to the final two because she had played the game masterfully; likewise, Rousso couldn’t take Steve because of his likeability factor with some of the Jury members (the final nine evictions of the season – Shelli, Jackie, Becky, James, Meg, Julia (Liz’ twin), Austin, John and the “odd man out” from the final three).

In the final competition, host Julie Chen asked both Rousso and Steve several “A or B” questions about their former houseguests and what they would say in response to questions about their stay in the Big Brother house. Steve took an early lead but, with only two questions to go, Rousso was able to tie up the competition when Steve tripped up on a question. It would eventually come down to the final question, which Steve answered correctly to win the final competition. Once the threesome was drawn back into the living room, Steve dropped the bomb that he had been waiting to release:  sending Rousso home in third place as he bawled more crocodile tears than can be found in the Okefenokee Swamp.

For her part, Rousso conducted herself as if she had been eliminated from a tournament. She quickly composed herself and even accepted the blabbering of both Steve and Liz in their apologies before leaving the house with her head held up. In the eviction chair being interviewed by Chen, Rousso admitted that she would have done the same thing to Steve without any guilt and didn’t question any part of the game she played. During the gathering of the Jury and the previous six houseguests who had been eliminated, she finally informed everyone in the game who she was and her success as a poker player to the respectful acknowledgement of her fellow competitors.

The final two now faced the Jury and it wasn’t even a contest. Despite the factor he was ineffective through much of the competition, Steve played more of a role in the Big Brother house than his opponent, Liz, and he had been able to link in a friendly manner with many of the Jury members (despite being about as social as wallpaper). As such, he would be the one to win the Jury vote, 6-3 (the three votes for Liz? Her sister, her “showmance” and Rousso, who probably wanted to ram the $ 500K somewhere inappropriate) and take down the $ 500,000 first prize. Liz was able to take home the $ 50,000 consolation prize and as for Rousso? She gets paid the per diem that comes along with appearing on a television show.

It is thought that the next poker professional taking part in a reality program will be Anna Khait’s turn on the next Survivor series (not the one that started on Wednesday night but the one which will air in early 2016). Unfortunately, poker’s fandom may not be as willing to put up with watching one of their own on a reality program lose again, especially after Rousso’s well-deserved run in Big Brother that should have netted her the victory instead got her the final seat on the Jury, truly the definition of “all or nothing.”

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Vanessa Rousso Fights to Final Three of “Big Brother,” Has Chance at Final Two

 Vanessa Rousso Fights to Final Three of “Big Brother,” Has Chance at Final Two

n what has been a tumultuous two days, poker professional Vanessa Rousso has put herself in position to be under consideration for the $ 500,000 first prize on the CBS reality show Big Brother. After fighting her way into the final three, Rousso now has the potential to make the final two. Come next week, Rousso may be one of the people who is considered by a Jury vote for the victory in the competition.

After winning the Head of Household on last Thursday’s episode, Rousso knew that there were plenty of issues that she still faced. Situated between two partnerships – the “showmance” between Austin and Liz and the “bromance” between Steve and John – Rousso had to tread lightly in making decisions as the HoH. After interviewing all the contestants, Rousso would decide to put up John and Steve for elimination.

The Power of Veto competition would prove to be pivotal, however. John, who was the target of Rousso for elimination, emerged as the victor of the PoV competition and used that power to remove himself from the elimination seat. Now faced with putting up one of the members of her “Sixth Sense” alliance, Rousso decided that Austin would allow her the best chance to look like she was putting up a strong opponent but in reality target Steve for elimination. Thus, Austin went on the block as the Big Brother household headed to a special elimination on Tuesday night.

Sometime between the Sunday episode and the Tuesday elimination, Rousso would switch her allegiance from Austin to Steve, breaking up the “showmance” that had probably lasted longer than many thought it would. Rousso’s logic was that Austin presented more of a challenge in competitions (especially the more physical ones) and that, if Rousso went to the final three with both Austin and Liz, she would be the “odd man out” (and a final three of her, Liz and either Steve or John was much more preferable). Thus, after John used his vote on Steve and Liz used hers on Austin, Rousso broke the tie by stunningly sending Austin out of the house.

Now down to four – Steve, John, Liz and herself – Rousso was in a tough position. Barred from competing for the next HoH (and earning an automatic spot in the final three), Rousso had to watch as Steve took over from her and nominated John and Rousso for elimination. Only one other person would be guaranteed a seat in the final three – the winner of the PoV – and Rousso, needing to pull herself off the block, won the PoV and guaranteed her slot in the final three. With John and now Liz on the elimination table, Rousso decided to split the “bromance” this time by knocking off John, setting up an intriguing three person battle for the coming week.

With three people remaining, Rousso now had to punch the ticket for the final two. In what turned out to be a marathon of a physical challenge – hanging on a rope swing, being dunked in some red goo that didn’t look particularly enjoyable and slammed repeatedly into a foam rubber wall – Rousso first watched as Steve fell to his demise and then was able to convince Liz to fall from her swing willingly. Some of the more vocal fans have insinuated that Rousso might have offered Liz something for her giving up (a trip to the final two, perhaps?), but it is unknown if this was the case.

It is a difficult choice for who would be the better opponent for Rousso in the final two. Although she has been partners of some sort with Liz since pretty much the start of the show, Rousso knows that if she were to take Liz to the final two with her, Liz would have two votes automatically from Austin and her twin, Julia. With six other members in the Jury (Becky, Jackie, James, John, Meg and Shelli round out that field), Liz would only have to garner three more votes to take the $ 500,000 prize from Rousso. The situation doesn’t get any easier with Steve, however, as he has probably three solid votes with James, Meg and John (and “solid votes” indicates voting on friendship and previous alliance rather than who played the best game) and would only need two more (Austin and Julia with a payback?) to turn against Rousso to take the bounty.

Over the next week, it will be revealed who will be the one to head to the final two with Rousso. There will be a broadcast on Sunday night (8PM Eastern Time), but it probably won’t be until the 90-minute season finale on Wednesday night that we actually learn who will join Rousso in the final two. Then it is up to a vote of the Jury to determine whether Rousso will be rewarded with $ 500,000 for playing an outstanding game or whether alliances and friendships will be the final determinant.

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Vanessa Rousso’s Partner says It’s “Absolutely Not True” CBS is Fixing “Big Brother”

 Vanessa Rousso’s Partner says It’s “Absolutely Not True” CBS is Fixing “Big Brother”

As they are pulling into the final week of what has been a summer-long run, the CBS reality television show Big Brother is down to its final five competitors. Of the five houseguests remaining, one is poker professional Vanessa Rousso. Rousso has shown a dominant mental game throughout the run of this summer’s program, but she still has to make it down to the final two and, after that, through the Jury that will decide who wins the $ 500,000 grand prize.

But what would be tougher, being on the inside and playing the game or sitting on the outside and worrying about the game? You might have noticed that, when she knows she is on camera, Rousso will kiss her ring finger. That is an “I love you” to her partner, Melissa Ouellet, whom Vanessa has been away from now for almost 90 days and who has been sweating the proceedings heavily. She has also had to deal with the accusations from the Big Brother faithful that the producers are “fixing” the show for Vanessa and other more hurtful statements about Rousso in general.

Poker News Daily was able to speak with Ouellet as Rousso reaches the end of the Big Brother battle and found that it may be tougher for someone outside the game than the person actually in it.

Poker News Daily:  How difficult has it been for you during Vanessa’s time in the house?

Melissa Ouellet:  Before Vanessa left to the Big Brother house, we spent 24/7 together and we were inseparable. Being away from her for four months has been a very lonely summer.

I do believe this time away will only make our relationship stronger. Vanessa being in the house brings a lot of mixed emotions…I don’t think she will ever understand the stress and pain I’ve had to go through, not being able to tell her who is on your side and who’s not, not being able to hug her while she is being emotional…these situations are extremely hard on you, but at the end of the day it is all worth it. Don’t get me wrong…I’ve LOVED watching Vanessa on Big Brother. It has been a great experience on her end and mine.

PND:  To the best of your knowledge, does Vanessa have any roles on television pending once she exits the Big Brother house?

MO:  There is apparently a rumor that the show Big Brother is being rigged for Vanessa to win to promote this new show called Poker Face. I would love to make this nice and clear that this is absolutely NOT true. Vanessa has worked extremely hard to get herself to where she is at in the game and if she wins Big Brother it’s because she deserves it and has played an incredible game.

PND:  Do you pay any attention to the fan blogs and what they say? And how do you handle those who are critics of Vanessa?

MO:  I am on social media quite a bit and I am aware of all that is being said out there. At first I was devastated by what I was reading – it literally broke my heart – but as the summer went by I started to realize that the critics and the things being said about Vanessa are just out of control and there’s a lot of jealousy out there. Normally I would say people are jealous of successful people. Vanessa is a GENIUS and not everyone understands her brain and her intelligence, but she is always 10 steps ahead from everyone. It also seems as if Vanessa has this magical power to get away with anything and everything, she knows how to handle situations and always knows what to say…clearly people aren’t liking that. With this said, I must also say Vanessa has some REALLY incredible loyal fans out there who love her and supported her game play from Day 1.

PND:  Why do you think there is so much vitriol from fans of the show towards Vanessa?

MO:  I never understood and never will understand the animosity towards Vanessa. My best guess for that would have to be because Vanessa is REALLY good at this game, and a lot of fans out there have their favorite houseguest. It also could be because Vanessa had a hand in almost every eviction and they blame her. I think Vanessa has played a fascinating game, not just because she is my girlfriend but I would have to say she has played the best game this season.

PND:  So what is your prediction for what the final days are going to be like for Vanessa? And what will they be like for you?

MO:  For the live eviction show tonight, Austin will go home. Whoever wins the next HOH will most probably put Vanessa up, but 100% she will win one of the most important Veto competition and save herself and most probably will end up in final 2 with either John or Steve. Of course, she will win overall! I do hope and pray the jury isn’t bitter and understands that Vanessa has played the best game.

While Rousso will get through tonight’s episode (airing at 8PM Eastern/7PM Central) and make the final four, the true test will come over the next 24 hours. Another player will be eliminated on Wednesday’s episode (same broadcast time as Tuesday) and the final three will be determined. Will Rousso make it to that pinnacle? And does she have enough gas to make it to the $ 500,000 finish line? We’ll have to watch and find out, but you can believe Melissa Ouellet will be watching much more intensely!

Poker News Daily